After the Mary’s Group co-owners Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham found an episode of their podcast going viral for all the wrong reasons, the pair sent out an all-staff email, explaining exactly how the shit hit the fan in such a public way.
The email, which was shared with PEDESTRIAN.TV, acknowledged the “importance of the conversation” that came from the reporting in the Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC, and here at PEDESTRIAN.TV about the podcast episode – in which the pair reportedly called some younger hospitality workers “whiny fucking cunts” – and the backlash that ensued from the whole thing.
“We trusted that this conversation would be handled with the dignity and compassion that we all deserve,” the email reads.
“It was not. We should have known better. You deserve better from us.”
Graham and Smyth admitted that their “poorly-chosen words” to a journalist, which “shaped a clickbait article from a crushingly important discussion” were not directed to their own staff individually or as a whole, but were “aimed at a collection of stories and comments” the pair hear about people “across multiple industries”.
“We have worked very hard to make Mary’s a safe and healthy environment for all. Mental health is a big part of that, and the work is not yet done from our side,” the email continues.
“Our comments about ‘whining and entitled’ staff were not directed at you as individuals, or as a whole. Rather, they were aimed at a collection of stories and comments that we hear on a weekly basis from our staff, managers, and chefs about a tiny minority of people across multiple industries.
“To pretend that this does not exist is a lie. And we will not lie to you.”
Graham and Smyth continued on to accept that their comments have caused anxiety, concern, and pain in some of their staff, and encouraged anyone within the wider Mary’s Group team to contact them for “a deeper, personal conversation” on the entire situation. The Mary’s website was also updated this week with a lengthy statement from Graham and Smyth.
Smyth wouldn’t comment on the record about the email to PEDESTRIAN.TV, but said some staff members had reached out after their interview went viral.
“They’re checking in on our mental health,” Smyth said.
“In the words of one sweet young man, ‘You call me, so I’m calling you.’”